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Understanding Youth Involvement
Taking Action: 10 Steps to Engaging Youth in Club Decision-Making
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Section 1: Introduction to Succession Planning
Section 2: The Succession Planning Process
Section 3: Crucial Ingredients for Steps 1-5
Step 1. Stop and Think
Step 2. Identify Barriers to Participation for Young People
Step 3. Decide How Your Club will Involve Young People in Decision-Making
Step 4. Form Community Partnerships
Step 5. Recruit Young People
Step 6. Induct Young People in to your Club General Induction Information
Step 7. Effectively Communicate with Young People
Step 8. Invest in Young People
Step 9. Mentor your Young Volunteers
Step 10. Recognise Volunteers and Thank Them for Their Work
Step 1: Examine your club’s position
Step 2: Identify skills required to fill critical roles in your club
Step 3: Assess the skills gap in your club and identify potential successors
Step 4: Develop and prepare potential successors
Step 5: Evaluate your succession plan



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Managing Bullying


Bullying is more likely to occur in environments that are highly competitive and promote a 'win at all cost' mentality. By emphasising other aspects of sport such as enjoyment, team work, sportsmanship and skill development - especially at the junior level - sporting organisations may be able to prevent bullying behaviours.

Sporting organisations should promote their organisation as one that will not allow or tolerate bullying.  One way to do this is to develop Codes of Conduct and a policy that addresses bullying behaviours, such as a Member Protection Policy. A Member Protection Policy addresses a range of inappropriate behaviours including discrimination, harassment and abuse and provides a complaints process for dealing with incidents. The policy can also provide a complaints handling process so sports can deal with incidents of bullying in a practical manner that is consistent with addressing other inappropriate behaviour.

There are several things coaches, parents and administrators can do to prevent bullying within their sport and assist both the victim/s and the bully(ies).

How can we help the victim/s?

Take all signs of bullying seriously. Show interest and sympathy with every allegation of bullying and provide support.
Ensure the victim/s are safe.

Some forms of bullying constitute assault, harassment or discrimination under federal and state legislation and are therefore illegal. Seek advice from your state department of sport and recreation or human rights or equal opportunity commission if you suspect the behaviour breaches legislation.

Encourage members to speak out and tell someone - a parent, coach, manager or senior club member if they are being bullied or if they witness bullying.

Reassure the victim/s that you will help them. Also advise them that to help them you may need to tell others about the problem (i.e. do not say you will not tell anyone).

Speak with the bully(ies) and victim/s separately. If children are involved also speak to their parents. Keep records of what was said (i.e. what happened, who was involved, when the incidents occurred, how the matter was handled).

A Member Protection Information Officer may be able to assist the victim and provide information as to what they can do about the problem.

Telling the victim/s to 'ignore' the bully rarely works. Experts agree that a passive or distressed reaction can encourage the bully(ies) because it is the reaction they are looking for.
After a period of time, follow-up with the victim/s (and parents if appropriate) to find out if the bullying has stopped.

What action should be taken toward the bully(ies)?

Talk with the bullies (but not in the presence of the victim/s), explain the situation and try to get the bully(ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviour. If children are involved also speak to their parents. Keep records of what was said (i.e. what happened, who was involved, when the incidents occurred, how the matter was handled);

The bully may want to apologise to the victim/s for their behaviour;
If appropriate, insist on the return of borrowed items and that the bully(ies) compensate the victim;
If necessary impose sanctions;
Encourage and support the bully(ies) to change their behaviour;
Monitor the behaviour of the bully(ies) over a period of time.

Behaviour Issue Resolving Behaviour Issue Resolving (38 KB)


Sample Code of Conduct Sample Code of Conduct (31 KB)

What should I do if I have been bullied?

Below are suggestions from people that have been bullied and experts in the field. Please note that bullying takes many forms and different approaches need to be considered. What works for one person in a particular situation may not work for another person. Think about the suggestions below and which are most suitable for your particular circumstances.

Speak out and tell someone – a parent, coach, manager or senior club member – if you are being bullied. Explain to them what is happening and that you want the bullying to stop. Most sporting organisations prohibit bullying and should do something to stop bullying occurring.

If possible, avoid the bully and being alone with the bully.

Do not travel to and from training and games alone.

In some situations ignoring the bully can work, for example if it is a one-off incident and is non-threatening verbal abuse. Remember, however, that ignoring the bully will not always work. Some types of bullying (e.g. physical and psychological) should not be ignored.

Be aware of how you react when bullied and if necessary change your reaction. Experts agree that a passive or distressed reaction can encourage the bully(ies) because this is the reaction they are looking for. Try reacting in a calm, assertive manner.

Consider confronting the bully(ies) and standing up to them. You could say, “What did I do to you?” But do not react by physically hurting them as you will most likely find yourself in trouble.

A Member Protection Information Officer (MPIO) may be able to assist and provide information as to what to do about the problem. MPIOs provide support and information to individuals in the sport that may be experiencing harassment, discrimination or being abused or bullied.  Ask if your club has an MPIO and if so, who is that person?
Research bullying on the web or obtain a book by a respected expert that provides strategies for dealing with bullying.

You can find out more about bullying in a sports context at Australian Sports Commission ( ASC ) website: please CLICK HERE.
For Australian Sports Commission ( ASC ) Code of Conduct please CLICK HERE
For Australian Sports Commission ( ASC ) coaches rights when complaints are made please CLICK HERE

See also, our section on handling complaints.

Risk of Harm Fax Report Risk of Harm Fax Report (130 KB)